Charitable organizations are governed by the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act found in S.C. Code of Laws Title 33, Chapter 56. All charitable organizations that solicit contributions or have contributions solicited on their behalf must register with the Secretary of State’s Office prior to any solicitation activity and on an annual basis unless they fall under one of the statutory exemptions from registration.
A charitable organization that is required to register with the Secretary of State’s Office must submit a Registration Statement for a Charitable Organization (PDF) each year. In addition, a charitable organization must submit the Secretary of State’s Annual Financial Report Form (PDF) or the IRS Form 990, 990-EZ or 990-PF each year. Charities can file registrations and financial reports online. Start the online filing process.
- For entities that are not required to file with the Secretary of State, see S.C. Code of Laws §33-56-20.
- For entities that are exempt from registration with the Secretary of State, see S.C. Code of Laws §33-56-50. An entity that is exempt from registration must file an Application for Exemption (PDF) with the Secretary of State on an annual basis. If at any time the charitable organization no longer qualifies for an exemption, it must immediately register as a charitable organization.
Non-compliance with the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, including but not limited to failure to submit a registration, registration exemption, or financial report when due, will result in the assessment of administrative fines. The Secretary of State may, upon his own motion or the complaint of any person, investigate a charitable organization.
South Carolinians from all income levels respond quickly and generously when they see a true need. Check out our Wise Charitable Giving Brochure (PDF) to learn how you can donate with confidence. For additional guidance on social media fundraising campaigns, please check out our Crowdfunding and Online Giving Brochure (PDF). For additional information on crowdfunding, please see the Online Giving Donor & Consumer Guide (PDF) published by the National Association of Secretaries of State, National Association of Attorneys General, and National Association of State Charity Officials.
If you would like to file a complaint concerning a charitable solicitation, please complete the Online Charitable Solicitation Complaint Form.
All documents and correspondence should be mailed to:
SC Secretary of State's Office
Attn: Charities Division
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 525
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone inquiries may be directed to (803) 734-1790